Depots (AMAs & ALCs)
The military services currently have 21 depots that maintain the readiness of critical weapon systems such as tanks, ships, aircraft, and missiles. Of these, the USAF has just three, called Air Logistics Complexes (ALCs), but only one of these has responsibility for ICBMs: Ogden ALC, Utah. The primary purpose of all depots is to conduct depot-level maintenance. Generally, this is maintenance that cannot easily or efficiently be performed anywhere else. ALCs were originally called Air Materiel Areas (AMAs), and there were many more of those than there are ALCs today. AMAs were created in 1946 and at their peak numbered more than a dozen stateside, and at least that many more overseas. Some were formed on a geographical basis, others on a functional basis (i.e., specific weapons systems). Not long after Air Materiel Command was replaced by Air Force Logistics Command in 1961, AMAs became Air Logistics Centers. Air Logistics Centers were renamed Air Logistics Complexes in 2012, but the acronym conveniently remained the same. Around 2003, Air Force Materiel Command leadership decided to reorganize the entire command along more military lines. In an effort to “Blue” the command, the Air Logistics Centers were divided into new unit organizations that changed directorates into wings, divisions into groups, and branches into squadrons. The process was begun in late 2004 and completed at most of the ALCs by the end of the following year. Because these were establishments and units, emblems were approved for them. Beginning in 2012, some of these “blued” organizations have been “unblued” and reassigned their previous names or new names.